‘Partisan Opportunism’: WSJ Disputes Liberals’ Coronavirus Comparisons Of US And Europe

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Andrew Trunsky Political Reporter
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The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board cautioned against condemning America’s response to the coronavirus, calling comparisons between the U.S. and Europe “partisan opportunism.”

The publication’s editorial board said Sunday that liberals blaming the Trump administration for the upsurge in infection cases have been partisan attacks, though it noted that the administration is also often too optimistic. The WSJ specifically cited a recent article from The Washington Post as an example of attempts to compare the effectiveness of the U.S. and European nations in handling the pandemic.

The U.S. is reporting daily record highs, while Europe has largely contained the virus’ spread, despite their initial outbreaks occurring only days apart.

But despite the spike in cases in the U.S., there have been only 38 deaths per 100,000 people, while the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, and France have seen 66, 61, 57 and 44 deaths per 100,000 people, respectively, WSJ’s editorial board wrote.

In states with recent increases in cases, the death rates have also remained lower, with 21 deaths per 100,000 in Arizona, 15 in Florida, and eight in Texas, according to WSJ. New York, which has taken a very slow approach to reopening, has a death rate per 100,000 of 161.

The editorial board pointed out that each state reopened gradually over May and early June and never allowed more than 50% capacity at restaurants, bars, and retail stores, contrary to critics’ assertions that they moved between reopening stages to quickly.

Though each took steps to reopen nearly two months ago, increases in cases and hospitalizations have only appeared in the past few weeks, the WSJ said. (RELATED: Texas To Pause Further Reopening Amid Spike In Coronavirus Cases)

Despite the U.S.’s struggle to contain the virus, the WSJ showed that traffic to American restaurants and shops is less than that seen in Germany, France, the UK and more, though both the U.S. and Europe have struggled to limit the gathering of younger people.

While the WSJ refrained from commending the U.S.’s response to the pandemic, the editorial board said drawing conclusions is premature. It also noted that occasional increases will continue until there’s a vaccine or herd immunity.

The editorial board concluded by urging Americans and the media alike to refrain from making premature conclusions, saying that the pandemic was not going anywhere anytime soon.

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